Tuesday, August 27, 2013

To Makeup or Not to Makeup? That is The Question.

[As published on Emmagem.com HERE]

It’s a cruel world out there, especially for girls. Like it or not, a double standard exists. Women are expected to look good all the time, but be appropriately dressed and made up for the occasion. On work days, you’re supposed to look professional (but not plain!), so dramatic eyeliner with false lashes make you stand out like a beacon in a bad way. On evenings out, if you don’t wear makeup, people will think you’re lazy. On weekends, you’re supposed to look well-rested and fresh-faced, when all you want to do, honestly, is have lunch at the coffeeshop.
And the list goes on.
Around the world, it’s a known fact that better-looking people are treated better, or at least, what is ‘perceived’ as society as being ‘better-looking’. There are numerous news reports and ‘undercover’ articles’ that prove, time and again, that being good-looking is an advantage. The world is indeed a rather shallow place where people go on first impressions.
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This is what Barbie would look like without makeup on.
As a woman who wears makeup frequently, I experience the most drastic difference in treatment when I go out bare-faced. I wear makeup because I like the way it ‘enhances’ my features. I like how makeup allows me to look better without having to resort to botox or plastic surgery. Save for weekends, I’m wearing eyeliner most of the time, and many friends and colleagues have never seen me bare-faced. If I don’t wear makeup, people always think I’m sick.
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Bare-faced beauty? Not a chance.
Now back to the point – I have experienced shoddy treatment countless times, because I didn’t measure up to the standard of ‘beauty’ in society. This real-life experience is one that I find amusing, but behind the amusement lies a cruel truth that all of us women might encounter at least once in our lives:
I love ice-cream, but as a student who didn’t really have much money to spare, I would order a junior scoop, which was cheaper but a nice indulgence nonetheless. During my first encounter, I had makeup on. You know, the works – eyeliner nicely done with mascara and all the trimmings. My scoop ended up being bigger than my guy friend’s, who ordered a normal scoop. He kept complaining that it wasn’t fair because he ended up paying more for a smaller amount of ice cream.
The next week, I went back to the same ice-cream stall and the same guy was there. But this time, I wasn’t wearing any makeup. All I had on was sunblock, face powder and eye pencil. I was in a T-shirt and shorts. I looked plain. I bought the same flavour, same size. When he passed me my ice-cream cone, I got a really small scoop, almost half the size of what he gave me last week.
On both times, there wasn’t a crowd and it wasn’t a busy day, so it all boiled down to whether I looked good enough to deserve better treatment. (Please don’t misunderstand as I don’t think I’m good-looking at all.)
Back then, the experience made me doubt myself. It made me sad and angry that people could be so cruel and shallow to judge a person on how she looked. I didn’t like going out with no makeup on, because I felt vulnerable. I felt people staring at me and mocking me, because I wasn’t pretty. So I hid behind my eyeliner and mascara, just so I didn’t have to get stared at funny. I hated looking at myself without makeup on. When I had to go out bare-faced, I didn’t even dare to look people in the eye.
Women wearing paper gas on heads with eyes drawn
This incident might have happened to me many years back, but now, with girls starting to experiment with makeup at a very young age, I’m sure the ‘double standard’ treatment is worse. I’m 27 years old this year, and honestly, I’m rarely bothered by what other people think of me anymore. I make an effort to look good for myself, not for other people. And if I don’t feel like putting on eyeliner on weekends, I don’t. If that’s going to get me less-than-average treatment from people, I’ll just mentally tell them to go **** themselves.

You can’t control what people will say to you, but you can control how it affects you. Don’t let one shallow, pea-brained person ruin a beautiful day.

(Main image: huffingtonpost.com   Images: corbis.com, muradukblog.wordpress.com) 

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